Gossip column: Bale, Conte, Arteta, Anderson, Deeney

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Chelsea managerial gossip

Chelsea could appoint Antonio Conte as manager as early as next month - with the Italy boss then arriving after Euro 2016. (Daily Mirror)external-link

He is confident that he has seen off rivals Diego Simeone and Massimiliano Allegri to take charge at Stamford Bridge. (Independent)external-link

However, Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has emerged as the main rival to Conte as Chelsea continue their search for a new manager. (Daily Star)external-link

Conte has identified Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, 27, as a potential signing when he takes over at Chelsea. (Telegraph)external-link

Former Italy midfielder Conte wants to take Roma director of football Walter Sabatini to Stamford Bridge with him. (Daily Express)external-link

The Blues will continue to look at other options to Conte, with former Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli and Juventus boss Allegri under consideration. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Daily Mirror back page
Daily Mirror focus on Lionel Messi's double for Barcelona sinking Arsenal's Champions League chances

Other gossip

Real Madrid are "weighing up the option" of selling winger Gareth Bale, 26, in the summer because of the Welshman's poor injury record. He has featured in just 63% of Madrid's first-team action since joining in 2013. (AS)external-link

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta could be offered a coaching role by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City if the 33-year-old Spaniard decides to retire at the end of the season. (Eurosport)external-link

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, 27, agreed a new deal with the club until 2019, extending his current contract by a further year. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

Louis van Gaal will survive as Manchester United boss until the summer because Jose Mourinho is not willing to replace him mid-season. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Germany manager Olivier Bierhoff has criticised van Gaal for displaying a lack of support for midfielder and Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger, 31, who is currently sidelined with an ankle injury. (Goal.com)external-link

The Red Devils are ready to appoint a new director to help vice chief executive Ed Woodward. (Sun)external-link

The Old Trafford club have made no contact over a move for Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson, 22, according to the Brazilian's agent. (Cittaceleste.it, via Daily Star)external-link

United have bid £15.5m for Braga midfielder Rafa Silva, 22, who is very highly rated by the club's likely next manager Jose Mourinho. (Metro)external-link

Daily Star back page
Messi also features on the back of the Daily Star as Barcelona step up their bid to retain the Champions League

Tottenham striker Harry Kane, 22, is to play for the club wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in their FA Cup loss against Crystal Palace last Sunday. (Telegraph)external-link

Goalkeeper Jack Butland, 22, is keen to remain at Stoke for at least another season after establishing himself as the club's number one. (Stoke Sentinel)external-link

Crystal Palace are considering a move for Newcastle United defender Liam Gibson, 18, after he impressed against Lillestrom in a friendly last week. (Daily Express)external-link

Eagles winger Wilfried Zaha, 23, says England already have pacey players in the national team but he would "add more skill" to the side. (Croydon Advertiser)external-link

Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has been forced to cut his ties with a football agency after a potential conflict of interest emerged. (Daily Mail)external-link

Barcelona have received 2m euros (£1.56m) in compensation from Fifa for the injury former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen suffered at the World Cup, that restricted him to just 62 minutes of his first season at the Spanish club. (London Standard)external-link

Valencia president Layhoon Chan has claimed the players are fully behind Gary Neville and the club did not consider sacking him as manager during a poor run of form.(Guardian)external-link

Sunderland are showing an interest in Lille defender Adama Soumaoro, 23, as Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce looks to boost an ageing backline. (Daily Mail)external-link

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 26, has revealed he turned down the opportunity to join Newcastle in 2013. (Daily Star)external-link

Premier League strugglers Sunderland are monitoring Lille defender Adama Soumaoro, 23, with a view to making a move for the player in the summer. (Chronicle)external-link

Best of social media

Watford striker Troy Deeney, 27, tweetedexternal-link his delight at training with world heavyweight title contender Anthony Joshua.

Troy Deeney training with Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua (right) took time to train with Troy Deeney (left) ahead of his world heavyweight title fight against Charles Martin

West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 22, is determined to get on the scoresheet in Saturday's crucial Premier League game against Crystal Palace. He wrote on Twitter:external-link "Looking forward to the game Saturday. Focusing on getting fitter and pushing forward."

Saido Berahino twitter
Berahino has scored six goals in 25 appearances for the Baggies this season

And finally

A Leicester City fan has convinced his girlfriend to let him name their daughter after Jamie Vardy - but only if 5,000 supporters sign a petition. (Sun)external-link

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